Wrong turn leads to a life saved in South New Berlin - WBNG.com: Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

Wrong turn leads to a life saved in South New Berlin

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SOUTH NEW BERLIN, N.Y. (WBNG) -- A wrong turn put one man in the right place to save the life of someone he didn't even know.

Matthew Newman said he got a little lost in Chenango County last Tuesday. 

"I took a wrong turn at the traffic light."

He was trying to make his way home to Davenport from South New Berlin. That wrong turn led him to 80-year-old Richard Downey who was outside working when something went wrong. 

"I got more dizzy and that is when I fell down in front of the porch there and that is where I laid," Downey said. 

He was having a heart attack. As Newman drove by and saw the fall, he knew he had to act. 

"I had just this bad gut feeling. Something bad was really going to happen and I had to pull the car around," Newman said. "It was such a bad feeling I spun the tires."

The two had never met before, but in the heat of the moment Downey told Newman to knock on his door. Family members were inside, but were unaware Downey was in need of help. An ambulance was called, but even then, Downey's Daughter Rebecca Meek says there were doubts Downey would live because of a large blood clot near his heart. 

"They didn't think I was going to make it to the hospital either but, it was a close call," Downey said. 

Doctors told Downey a unique set of circumstances, and the actions of Matthew Newman saved his life. 

"If it weren't for him I would not be here today," Downey said. "I thank him a whole lot. At least I get a chance to live anyway and see another birthday."

Downey was able to leave the hospital last Thursday. He is looking forward to celebrating his 81st birthday later this fall. In the meantime, he says he is going to take it easy for a while when it comes to yard work. He says he's staying at his daughters home to rest for the time being. 

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